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Cablegate: Demarche Request: Instructions to Lobby Goi On

VZCZCXRO7683
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #0826/01 1840008
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 020011Z JUL 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE 9316
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2356

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 070826

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST: INSTRUCTIONS TO LOBBY GOI ON
FUNDING FOR UNAMI COMPOUND

REF: A. KUJAWINSKI-PHEE EMAIL 06-17-08
B. STATE 46440
C. BAGHDAD 1425

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraphs 2
and 5.

OBJECTIVE

2. (SBU) Embassy Baghdad is requested to again lobby the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain a substantial GOI
contribution for the funding of the proposed new United
Nations compound in Baghdad. Embassy is asked to coordinate
its demarche, as needed, with the UK Embassy in Baghdad.
UNAMI will demarche the GOI separately, as a follow-on to the
U.S., or US-UK, demarche.

BACKGROUND

3. (SBU) On June 15, 2008 the Deputy Secretary of the Council
of Ministers, Ali Hassan Ismail, wrote to UNAMI to confirm
that 40,000 square meters of land due west of the al-Sujud
Palace, within the International Zone, had been dedicated by
the GOI for use by the UN, for the duration of 25 years. The
UN is planning to build a secure compound for the UN
Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) on this dedicated plot of
land. Embassy Baghdad has endorsed this location and plan
(Ref A).

4. (U) Although the allocation of this land is a step in the
right direction, UN Member States may be resistant to
approving the compound,s construction without a substantial
GOI contribution to its funding. Earlier indications from
the GOI suggested that an Iraqi contribution of up to $100
million could be available (Ref B). (Comment: That was on the
basis of an earlier assessment that a new compound would cost
approximately $200 million. End comment.) Although the
compound is now expected to cost only $98.6 million, Member
States will expect an Iraqi contribution, with some
expressing the hope that this would cover 50 percent of the
total cost. We suspect 50 percent is too high an amount to
expect the Iraqis to provide, but we would like them to make
a contribution in the tens of millions of dollars.

TALKING POINTS

5. (U) In speaking to the MFA, Post may draw on the following
points:

-- UNAMI,s presence in Iraq benefits the GOI and the people
of Iraq. It continues to play a key role in addressing issues
such as internally disputed boundaries, elections,
humanitarian assistance, refugee returns, and national
reconciliation.

-- In order to operate more effectively, the UN has made
clear that new premises are necessary to accommodate
additional staff and undertake additional activities, all in
accordance with its expanded mandate under UNSCR 1770. We
support this and understand the GOI and the UN have agreed
upon a suitable location. We welcome this step forward.

-- However, agreement for the construction of the compound
must still be obtained from UN member states. The ACABQ (UN
budget committee) will first receive a briefing by a UNAMI
representative and make a recommendation on funding.

-- This recommendation will then be considered by the 5th
Committee of the UN, which includes all Member States and
operates by consensus. The 5th Committee will decide whether
to approve the construction. Whatever percentage of the
total construction cost is not paid for by the GOI must be
paid for out of the assessed contributions of all UN Member
States; therefore, the more money the Iraqis contribute, the
less money UN Member States will need to contribute, and the
more likely they will be to approve the construction.

-- There is ample precedent for a country like Iraq to
contribute substantially to UN operations on its territory.
For instance, Kuwait paid for two-thirds of the operating
costs of the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) from
November 1993 until the completion of the Mission in 2003,
with the remainder paid for by assessed contributions of
Member States. The total cost of UNIKOM from its inception

STATE 00070826 002 OF 002


in 1991 until 2003 was approximately $600 million. In
addition, Cyprus currently funds one-third of the cost of
maintaining the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP),
and Greece contributed an additional $6.5 million to the
total budget of $48.1 million from July 2007 to June 2008.

-- We believe it is important for the GOI to confirm in
writing that it is willing to make a significant
contribution. This should be done in advance of the next
ACABQ meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.

-- A significant GOI contribution will increase the
likelihood of getting UN approval for the compound,s
construction and may increase goodwill towards Iraq at the UN
on issues of concern to Iraq, such as the DFI.

REPORTING DEADLINE

6. (U) Embassy should report results of efforts in a cable
by Thursday, July 10.

POINTS OF CONTACT

7. (U) Please contact Josh Davis in NEA/I at (202) 647-8169
or via email at DavisJR@state.gov and/or Bridget Lines in
IO/UNP at (202) 647-7142 or LinesBM@state.gov for any further
background information.
RICE
RICE

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